VA homes loans help Veterans, Service Members and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. The VA loan is a $0 down mortgage option that is issued by a mortgage company or bank and they are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. After the housing market crash, lenders everywhere tightened lending requirements which makes the VA loan even more important for Veterans and active Military homebuyers.
VA loans differ from conventional loans in a few important ways. The biggest is for qualified buyers there is 0% down, compared to conventional loans that are generally 20% down. Since VA loans are government-backed, you aren’t required to buy Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which is required for conventional loans. VA loans are also easier to qualify for since banks assume less risk because they are backed by the government.
Recently there were changes to the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 which has included changes in the VA Home Loan Program, such as lifting loan limits. Some of the main changes are as follows:
- VA-guaranteed home loans will no longer be limited to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (Federally-established) Confirming Loans Limits. Veterans will now be able to obtain a no-down-payment home loan in all areas, regardless of amount.
- Purple Heart recipients currently serving on active duty will be exempt from the VA Home Loan funding fee
- VA removed the loan limit for Native American Veterans seeking to build or purchase a home on Federal Trust Land
- Right now there is a temporary change to the VA Funding Fee depending on if you are a Veteran, service member, National Guard or Reserve member.
These changes give an advantage to Veterans nationwide, especially those living in expensive housing markets. There are some exceptions to the VA loan limits. If a Veteran has a diminished VA loan entitlement, they will continue to see their zero-down buying power based on the county loan limit. For more specific details, please click here.